Archive for February, 2015

All Tired Out

Monday, February 16th, 2015

Today is the last day of operation for the poor, beloved Luigi’s Flying Tires attraction at Disney California Adventure. The attraction was never as popular as Disney might have hoped, but it certainly had its fans. Here’s a picture taken this morning of the attraction so you can have one last look before it is replaced by something that is certain to be less delightful (and possibly Frozen-car themed):

Luigi's Flying Tires last day of operation

(Although the crowds had not yet descended upon the attraction when this photo was taken, the attraction had only been open for an hour at that point. We’re certain that it became very busy later in the day.)

It’s difficult to see in the photo — you might have to click it to see it larger — but all of the Flying Tires cast members wore black armbands on their left arms to mark the attraction’s final hours. It was a respectful, if subtly depressing, gesture.

The general feeling about Luigi’s can be summed up in a quote from a guest we spotted dressed in black and weeping quietly into a black handkerchief near where this photo was taken. Said the guest (only slightly muffled by her black mourning veil):

My parents first met on the original Flying Saucers attraction at Disneyland. They were sitting in their individual saucers, yelling and cursing about how then couldn’t figure out how to get them to move, when they caught each others’ eye. That started them laughing over their shared frustration, and the rest is Disney romance history.

I’ve been coming to Luigi’s every day since it opened, riding it incessantly and waiting for a love connection. After 976 days of trying, I guess I’m going to have to look for another way to find a soul mate. I might have to resort to hoping I get stranded for an hour on Pirates with Mr. Right.

The big question, of course, is “Why is this attraction closing?” It may have been seen as a risk to try a new version of an attraction that originally didn’t last long at Disneyland, and over the months since “Flying Saucers II” opened the company may have lost its nerve. As one former individual said, “Whoever gave the park permission to open Luigi’s Flying Tires sure had a lot of balls, but unfortunately they were removed a few weeks after attraction opening due to technical issues.”

The internet is rife with rampant rumors about the closure. Some are blaming Obamacare or feminist criticism of video games, while others say it’s related to an unfortunate incident that occurred near the end of 2014 during which a woman was caught throwing the ashes of her beloved former Ford Fiesta about the attraction to commemorate its passing after its engine seized up and she had it incinerated. But, as is often the case, the truth is far more mundane. Said a relative of a person who claims to know things:

Disney never anticipated that the Monster Truck Racing Association would want their tires back so soon. In retrospect, they really should have signed a longer contract, but nobody anticipated that there would be any difficulty in getting them to renew every three years. It turns out that some MTRA brass was really upset that guests entering attraction vehicles tended to step on the giant tires, getting footprints on them and leaving them all scuffed up at the end of the day. In MTRA management’s mind, that made the MTRA look unprofessional. They complained to Disney, and the park did try to modify guest behavior, but in the end it just couldn’t be done.

RIP Luigi’s Flying Tires: 6/15/2012 – 2/16/2015

Disneyland measles button

Monday, February 9th, 2015

We’ve been so busy promoting our new That’s Not At Disneyland books that we’ve hardly had time to visit the Disneyland Resort in the last two months. We were finally able to visit over the weekend, and were thrilled to see all the new entertainment and changes throughout both parks.

One interesting details we discovered at City Hall was that Disneyland now has these buttons available:

Disneyland "vaccinated" button

We asked a cast member to hold one of the buttons and tell us a little bit about it. According to her, “I’m happy to help, but it’s too bad I didn’t do my nails last night. I’m not a professional hand model.”

Assuming that the buttons were created in reaction to the recent outbreak of measles that was traced to Disneyland, we asked if she had more details. “Not that there’s anything wrong with professional hand models,” she said. “It’s a great career and I wouldn’t mind getting into it, so long as I could work around my Disneyland job.”

After we took our pictures, we asked if Guest Services had been inundated with questions about communicable diseases in the parks, availability of measles vaccinations at First Aid, and annoying “it’s a smallpox world” and “Jungle (Cruise) fever” jokes. She had little to say about that but, as we were leaving, did add, “You’ll let me know about any hand modeling opportunities you hear of, won’t you?”